What makes you think they'd use a missile?
If I wanted to nuke a country I'd load a nuke onto a container truck and send it by ship ... ship it through a couple of countries to blur the trail, and have it just one cargo container amongst hundreds on some big freighter. Let it sail into my enemies port city then watch the pretty fireworks from a distance.
Considering the half life of an initiator is measured in months, good luck with that.
According to the U.S. Department of State, North Korea has the fourth-largest army in the world, at an estimated 1.21 million armed personnel, with about 20% of men aged 17–54 in the regular armed forces. North Korea has the highest percentage of military personnel per capita of any nation in the world, with approximately 1 enlisted soldier for every 25 citizens.
And it's breaking them. And for what? Look at what a three to one numerical advantage did for Saddam in the first Gulf War. American troops were ordered to pull back in order to avoid it becoming a massacre
North Korea does not even have a 2:1 numerical advantage over the forces stationed in the South. North Korea would be lucky to give a quarter million troops sufficient mobility to mount a serious invasion. Starvation amongst your people is not a sign of high-quality logistical capability.
It's not a question of who would win (UN, obviously) EVENTUALLY, but the damage done in the beginning would be no less of a concern. And that quote above doesn't count the 24 other citizens who can fire a weapon just as effectively, women and children included.
...does North Korea even have thirty million rounds of usable ammunition? /snark
But the worst of it is, you are insulting South Koreans. You make the claim that every last man, woman and child in North Korea can fight - never mind that no civilization in the history of mankind ever managed to mobilize more than a third of its population
, and that -no- South Korean will.
Insurgents do it all the time.
Show me a mass formation of insurgents marching in lock-step and I will show you a lot of dead insurgents. North Korea, to my knowledge, is the only nation on the planet that would seriously consider engaging US-derived tactics in such a manner at this point. The first Gulf War pretty much sealed the fate of formation tactics for the rest of the world.
You see, politically, the US in particular would end up looking bad regardless of the outcome. Hell, N. Korea could detonate all 7 of its nukes on its own soil and put the blame on us. Eventually everyone would understand we DIDN'T, but if I learned anything about the world's population attitude toward the US, its that the Mob Mentality takes prescidence above all else, sad as that sounds.
Not one single American soldier needs to be present in South Korea for South Korea to crush the North. As I understand it, the only reason we are there is to assist the South Koreans in getting mobilized should they need to.
This is, of course, above and beyond the fact that we are acting on the part of the defense in such a situation. American support for such wars is traditionally in the 80% range. Good luck on the PR war to overcome that spread. Where was this mob mentality during WWII or the first Gulf war that you speak of? Even Afghanistan or the Korean war enjoyed a far greater amount of support.
Judging from historical evidence (Korean War), I'd say N. Korea would get it first.
That's like saying Britain could take over New England because they beat us up a lot in the war of 1812. South Korea is a bit more mobilized than that now.
1.2 million, largely unmechanized (or the effective equivalent), starving troops, is going to take a foreign city of 35 million people defended by three million reservists and three-quarters of a million activated soldiers, under complete air superiority?
Kim can't take Seoul. He knows it. That's why he has a bunch of guns pointing at it instead.
Yeah, we'd take it back eventually, but like I said in my first post, it's pretty much guaranteed that everything near the DMZ will have to be retaken. And that's from a military perspective. I'd like to quote one veteran I know that's served there twice, but only if need be.
There are people on these forums that were stationed in South Korea.
Obviously not. But let's not forget who those soldiers are...or, and I hope you catch my drift, who S. Korean forces might "think" they are. (Sabotage/Spy reference). Still, the majority of them are probably loyal enough, and no, they wont all vanish in an assault, but a vast reduction in number of those on the DMZ is a given.
I'm sorry, but we only have one other frame of reference here - the Gulf Wars.
People sometimes refuse to call them wars.
Only this time, we don't need ten thousand miles worth of logistics backing the defenders up.
Please don't be fooled by all those failed launchings of their Nodong and Taepodong-2 ballistic missiles. We've run scenarios against them. Not all of them are duds. I'd like to elaborate but for security purposes I can't. Of course, that's kinda weasel-ing out of it XP. Sorry. If I can think of a safe way to explain the point, I'll let you know. Or you can google it. Im sure its there somewhere.
If a dozen missiles spelled the doom of a nation England would have fallen.
Who knows such a thing? Heck, who even knows if they get Officers to actually make that call. I dunno if they have Command Sergeant Majors or the like, but his desire would hold high up there with, lets say, a Battle Captain (again, if they have those), not to mention they probably have enlisted members at the actual launch console (if so. I know we do).
Well a more appropriate description is this - take our inspection of the Russian launch systems after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Add less maintenance, less skill, and the irrefutable knowledge that some of these people are very acutely aware that they are on the losing side, what do you get?
Don't get me wrong, North Korea attacking would be horrible, but it is in such a horrible logistical situation that it is seriously paralyzed. It can't really fight - just see how much damage it can do.